OTTAWA — At a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government, through Global Affairs, will be providing loans of up to $5,000 for those Canadians who are abroad and need assistance to come home.
He also eluded to another major announcement on economic actions to support Canadians, which he said will be made by end of week, including changes to the upcoming tax season.
“We’re hard at work to create the right support package for Canadians and protect jobs,” he said, adding Parliament may be recalled to pass legislative measures to enable government to get direct financial help to Canadians.
He said the government is also “looking at the Emergency Measures Act to see if there are [actions to allow us] to do more things that can’t be done in other ways.”
“We’ll be there as a country for our citizens, for our businesses, for Canadians who are worried,” he said. “Whether it’s small businesses, families, we’ll make sure Canadians are able to hold through this difficult time.”
During the question period, the Prime Minister faced tough questions about how quick his government has been to act on travel restrictions and restaurant closures in light of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s province-wide state of emergency announcement yesterday.
When asked about a possible federal directive to close bars/restaurants, Trudeau said, “we will continue to look at what we can do at the federal level. Everything that needs to be done to keep Canadians safe is being done.”
“The situation has evolved rapidly, requiring different decisions at different moments. We’re following public-health official recommendations,” he added when questioned about why the travel restrictions took so long to implement.
In addition, Trudeau announced Parks Canada is suspending visitor services in all national parks and heritage sites starting today. “Everything with a door will be closed,” he said.